Kevin Magnussen believes Haas can make even more progress in 2019 following its strong performance last season that saw it finish fifth in the constructors’ championship.
Haas finished eighth overall in each of its first two seasons in Formula 1, and then improved to fifth place last season after a year-long battle with Renault to finish best of the rest behind the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Following the announcement of its first title sponsorship deal with Rich Energy, Magnussen says Haas has plenty of momentum at the moment and is confident that will result in another step forward.
“If you look at our trajectory since the beginning of the team, it’s just been forward,” Magnussen said. “We took a big step from 2017 to 2018. I don’t think we can expect to take as big a step again but we can expect to keep improving and stay on the rise.
“I really don’t expect us to take a step back — I think we’re going to continue to grow. But we need to improve, and we need to grow even to hold onto fifth.
“Probably this year the improvements and the step forward will be less visible most likely, but I can see how we are growing as a team and we are gaining more and more experience. We’re learning with that experience that we’re gaining also to make use of that experience. I’m positive.”
Rich Energy CEO Williams Storey (pictured third from left, above, with Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and team principal Guenther Steiner) stated during the team’s livery launch event that he wants to take the challenge to Red Bull both on and off the track, and Magnussen says future regulation changes could open the door to allow Haas to do so.
“I think it’s great to have big ambition. You hear William say that he wants to take on Red Bull and he started a company that is going to be in direct competition with Red Bull outside of Formula 1, so you need to have this kind of ambition to succeed. So there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
“I doubt that it will be this year, but in the future no one knows what the future holds. There’s going to be regulation changes and maybe budget caps — who knows what can happen? So you can’t say what is possible at the moment. But if you don’t believe in it, then for sure it won’t happen.”